Andrew Strauss reveals England Super Series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan

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An inaugural cross-format Super Series will be at stake when England take on Sri Lanka and Pakistan this summer.

On the eve of the first Investec Test against Sri Lanka, starting at Headingley on Thursday, England and Wales Cricket Board director Andrew Strauss confirmed the new points system is to be adopted.

Individual series trophies will still be at stake in Tests, one-day internationals and a one-off Twenty20 against both tourists.

But in order to achieve enhanced "context" and "relevance" for bi-lateral tours, four points will be available for a Test win, two for a draw and two as well for victory in either white-ball format.

An overall win may therefore not be achieved until the final match, in each case this summer the concluding Twenty20, with an unsponsored prize of ?25,000 put up by the home board.

"Today I'm introducing the Super Series, the winner of which will be the overall tour winner for the Sri Lanka and Pakistan series over all formats," said Strauss.

"The rationale is that the game of cricket is evolving unbelievably quickly, and I think we feel responsibility to ensure the international game develops.

"Central to that is context and relevance for every game of cricket you play.

"We believe the Super Series will provide that by connecting the formats and ensuring every game counts for something more than just itself.

"Two separate white-ball teams and a red-ball team will be connected by something greater than their own immediate interests."

The Super Series, Strauss' own idea, is seen as a trial measure in which ECB has little to lose and - along with world cricket - much to gain.

Strauss added: "What this doesn't do is replace any of the individual series awards this summer - so there will still be a Test series victor, one-day series and the Twenty20 match as well.

"But it sits on top of that, wraps around it and creates something bigger to aim for.

"The ECB is very keen to be at the forefront of efforts to modernise the international game, and we feel this is a good way of ensuring the game remains relevant in both fans' and players' minds."

If the same points formula had been applied to England's last two tours, the outcome would have been decided in the last match - with a different winner to the Test series.

"Of course we would love the final game to be a Super Series decider - that would be perfect," said Strauss.

"If you look at the last two series we played - against South Africa we would have lost the Super Series in the final Twenty20, and against Pakistan in the UAE we would have won the Super Series in the super over in the final Twenty20."

The ECB will simply wait to see if the idea catches on "organically".

"We are not pushing it massively," Strauss added.

"We want people to understand that greater relevance through the course of the summer, and (we want) it (to be) something that resonates as the summer goes on."

He is adamant the option merely to leave well alone is not viable.

"Anyone out there who doesn't see the need for international cricket to keep moving forwards really does have his head stuck in the sand.

"(That is) one thing we don't want to do ... just keep things going the way they have always been at a time when the game is developing very quickly.

"What I worry about is people just sitting there saying 'It's going to be all right' and not doing anything about it.

"I think we have to be on the front foot on this and say 'look, we have a very vibrant Test support in this country ... and we've seen some fantastic Test matches over the last 12-18 months, but there are some worrying signs there - so let's act before it's too late'."

Strauss predicts significant interest in events from the International Cricket Council - "I know they are taking this very seriously".

England Test captain Alastair Cook, meanwhile, gave the initiative a guarded welcome at his Headingley pre-match press conference.

"I don't think we've got anything to fear about the points system," he said.

"If it works, brilliant; if it captures people's imaginations - or do people like the simplicity of the Test series, the one-day series, the Twenty20 series being separate - then I don't think there's any harm in having a look.

"If it doesn't work, it doesn't work.

"But I think in this day and age ... we've got to be open to new ideas."

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